A dragon is nothing without their rider.
Without them the powerful beats cannot breathe fire and protect us from the Fae scourge that continually invades our lands.
The morning I woke up with all color drained from my hair I knew I was in trouble.
I was a rider.
A rider with a whole land of Fae infested forests between me and the training grounds where my dragon would be waiting for me.
My father and I may never make it to the capital, but we were going to try.
So, when we were attacked by Fae on the first night of our journey, I wasn’t surprised. I was surprised when three dragons showed up and saved me.
They are on their way to the capital too, and are willing to take me with them… as long as I choose one of them to mate with.
Easy. Except that something deep inside of me wants all of them.
This was not how I planned to find my dragon.
As this book opens Rayna is fantasizing about being a dragon rider. It was most prestigious to be chosen by the goddess to be one, it’s also a dangerous thing. Dragons and their riders were the line of defense between the humans and the Fae. An ongoing war that is moving ever closer to where Rayna and her family live. Every day Rayna checks her hair to see if it’s changed to the silvery color of a rider, this was the only sign she would get. So far nothing and her disappointment is evident. She doesn’t want to stay on the farm, marry a farmer and have his children, she wants more. She’s thinking of all this as she stokes the fire to life to begin the day.
Her father is the first one up and she starts the coffee as her mother joins them before waking her little sister. There are chores to be done and it’s still bitterly cold out.
With the news of the Fae nearly destroying the village to the north of them, Rayna again expresses her wish to be a rider. Being one would protect her family and village, wouldn’t it? Well apparently, not. Her father choses this moment to tell her that the Fae hunt the riders and kidnap them. He also reminds her that when a dragon comes to be it’s often tragic as they explode into being taking out anyone and anything around them. A dragon is nothing without its rider and that’s the reason the Fae hunt riders, no rider the dragons are nothing.
Still these thoughts are in her mind as she works through the chores, stopping about halfway and falling asleep. When she is woken by her father, her dream has come true. Her hair is Silver, she is a rider and now must travel to the capital Fyre to be trained and meet her dragon.
It’s at the Dragon Fang Inn in Xrotte that Rayna sees her first dragons. Little does she know how important they will be to her.
While she is very attracted to them, her father is keeping her close and away from them, going so far as to leave the Inn before first light. The journey to Fyre would be fraught with danger especially since the Fae live so close.
Unfortunately, the Fae caught up with them before they made it to the forest surrounding the mountain. He father was no match for them but the dragon she met the night before is the first to arrive to help.
This is a favorite scene.
He snapped at air, as the Fae jumped out of reach, sending their arrows flying. Landers spun, but then he stumbled.
While he was massive, he was clearly not used to being a dragon. His movements were stiff, confused, uncontrolled.
So when his tail whacked the Fae, it wasn’t exactly on purpose. He only had his size keeping him safe.
“He’s a whelp,” the leader said with a bark. “Take her away, we’ll keep him busy.”
“You better hurry. There are two more on the horizon, coming in fast,” someone else called.
“They’re all whelps. Kill them, that will be three less monstrous abominations to worry about.”
Kill the dragons? Yeah, I wasn’t going to let that happen. I had already lost Da…
“No!” I ran at them, arms swinging like paddles as I clawed and slapped and punched.
I might as well have been fighting a brick wall.
A brick wall that pushed me back with just as much force.
I grunted as I hit the ground. Then I rolled away and jumped to my feet, sprinting toward the dragon.
I couldn’t fight the Fae, but I could sure as hell run away from them.
“Grab her now, you imbeciles!”
I had never run faster in my life, but I already knew it wasn’t enough.
Whooshing filled the air, mixing with the screams and the roars as the ground shook. The other dragons had arrived.
They were as same and as different as Landers was, their colors specks in the sky that were an exact replica of the dreams that had filled my mind.
“By the goddess.” They were so damn beautiful.
I ran as one of the blue dragon roared and charged forward, bloodthirsty for the Fae. He was bigger than the red dragon, his body larger, his wings longer. I dove out of his way, taking in the shimmering blue scales, almost dark enough to be black. Watching him handle the Fae screamed experience, even as a new dragon.
My heart pounded in my chest, my stomach a tight knot as the blue dragon pushed the Fae back, giving me time to get further away from them. The air smelled of blood, my ears rang with screams and the sound of iron against scales. I wanted to move forward, part of me needing to fight. I took one step when a dragon with green scales landed at my side, his wings wide and protective as he turned and stared me down with eyes brighter than the sun.
“Run.” I repeated the word that filled my mind, and turned, pulling myself from the screams and roars of battle as the dragon’s formed a barricade behind me.
Screams and roars rattled the dawn, but the Fae did not give up. Two slipped through the wall of scales and teeth. In seconds, they were in front of me, trying to yank me with them.
Man, these buggers were persistent.
“Come with us! Let us save you!” Did they really think that I was just going to believe them?
“No thank you, the dragons seem to be doing that just fine!” I pulled back, shrieked, and swung my fist wide. It hit one of them square in the jaw, his purple eyes flashing blue as he staggered. “Get back!”
I put both fists up in warning as the green dragon landed right beside me. The vibrations of his landing nearly knocked me off my feet. He was huge, easily the biggest of the three. The two Fae were thrown back by one swipe of a claw, red blossoming over their fancy clothes.
Two more Fae rushed us, air whooshing around me as the dragon swung, his claws so close to hitting me that the dragon stepped back in a panic.
One of the Fae wrapped his arm around my waist, lifting me up. I had gotten my first taste of victory, so like hell if I was going to let that happen.
I kicked hard, pointing the toe of my leather boot right at his crotch. The Fae screamed and promptly dropped me.
“Serves you right!” I yelled, and tried to kick again.
“You don’t know what you are doing,” he gasped as he dodged my foot, hands over his junk.
A dragon roared behind me, the ground shaking. I turned around, right to the screaming green dragon as he bounded over me.
Would these fuckers ever give up?
I wobbled on my feet as the dragon landed, everything shaking and sending the battle into further disarray. Fae surrounded the dragons, staves up as they stabbed at scales and air. Some didn’t even seem to be aiming at all.
They were distracting.
One Fae stood further back, his hands slipping through air a wave of what looked like water followed behind them. The wind whirled, sharpened, prickled against my skin.
“Watch–!” My warning was swallowed by a loud boom that nearly burst my eardrums.
The blue dragon let out a screech, reeling back, and falling onto its side. The green dragon at my side surged forward and slammed into the Fae, fighting furiously. The red dragon joined, the two of them snapping and slicing at Fae with teeth and claws.
I held my breath, feeling a chasm open in me when I stared at the blue dragon. He didn’t move for a long moment, and for one painful stab, I thought I was looking at Da again. Then he turned, got to his feet, and ran into the battle, just as vicious, if not more so than the others.
This wasn’t over yet!
I spotted a small weapon sheathed at the side of the Fae who had been trying to pull me away and now lay lifeless in the tall grass. Grabbing the weapon, I turned, holding a small gold knife between the three Fae that were rushing me. For a moment, my hand felt it was burning, but I didn’t let go. I just held on tighter.
“Leave me alone.” I sliced the air.
There was a growl between them in a language that should have been beautiful. Probably would have been if we weren’t all covered in blood. Then one of the Fae was gone, tossed through the air with a flash of claws and teeth. The other Fae quickly backed off, disappearing before my eyes.
Then, there was nothing. No Fae. Just me, standing before three heaving dragons.
I still held onto the weapon, my hand slick with blood as I gripped it. I didn’t know whose blood it was, not that it mattered. Blood was everywhere, it stained my soul in a gaping hole that I had almost forgotten about.
“Da,” the word was a sob as I fell to my knees. I had hardly hit the ground when the green dragon was there, a low whimpering sound rattling in his throat.
“I’m okay,” I whispered as though I understood him. My voice was hoarse, words shaky. I wasn’t fine. Nothing about this was fine.
It never would be again.
Rebecca Ethington. Monsters of Air: Of Wings & War | Book One (Kindle Locations 844-903). Kindle Edition.
Three dragons, all different, and she was attracted to all of them. They had to get to safety quickly grabbing her bags and taking off for the treeline. Once there the fun begins as they begin to argue.
Landers admits to meeting her at the Inn, and gets a punch from the blue dragon, Philit. The green dragon Zilon is a bit more rational but no less angry. Riders can’t be with a dragon or ride them before they are at training. There’s a lot of mystery there.
Philit is the most knowledgeable about riders and their journey, so the others defer to him to lead. The only way Rayna is going to complete this journey in one piece is if they go with her. Since he’s also injured and unable to fly it just makes sense.
This is a heck of a journey, they do meet up with the Fae again. Rayna also does the unthinkable with her dragon companions. She falls in love and bonds. Not with one but with all.
This a definite twist to dragon lore, and there is so much more to come. There’s action, flirting, and definite sizzle as Rayna and her dragons make their way to Fyre.
5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca!
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Rebecca Ethington has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then on stage with years of theatrical performances. The Imdalind Series is her first stint into the world of literary writing. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. She was born and raised in the mountains of Salt Lake City, and hasn’t found the desire to leave yet. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her amazing family.